20 x 30 in.
graphite on paper
Weema is part of my Roots series. Roots focuses on how people choose to represent themselves and their cultural identity through fashion. I grew up in a multicultural family, and I have always had an interest in cultures from outside the United States. Portraiture is an important component of my studio practice. I use portraits to explore topics including gender, cultural identity, and the environment. For this series, I selected models that I know personally and took photos of them to use as reference images. The models are young adults from various backgrounds, and their clothing is reflective of their personal identity and experiences. The models were given the freedom to dress in any way, as long as their outfit was meaningful to them. Their clothing could be a combination of traditional or contemporary styles, and the outfit could incorporate a variety of cultural influences. Each model was allowed to give input throughout the decision-making process, and they had the opportunity to select a background image to accompany their portrait. This project captures some of the unique personal histories and experiences of my subjects.